Typically about 50% of sales organizations fail to meet their sales quota and as our good friend Kevin O’Leary says “stop the madness!” Research by Aberdeen and CSO Insights shows that world-class sales organizations achieve quota at a higher rate by having these three things, pipeline visibility, regular coaching, and reduced CRM admin time for sales reps.
Flying Blind In the Pipeline
When Aberdeen Group asked hundreds of VPs of Sales what keeps them up at night regarding hitting their number, the answer across the board was simply put... “visibility into the pipeline”. Sales management struggles to get a true, honest view of what’s in the pipeline. Traditionally, when sales leaders experience this stress, they use the sales meetings to address each rep's pipeline in an effort to un-stall deals, figure out what deals are more or less likely to close, and make one-off rep-action recommendations. Sales meetings become a “habit born out of desperation, rather than a data-driven, efficient way to actually forecast and run a sales business”. By knowing which deals have the highest probability to close, sales teams can focus on the right deals to help in quota achievement. Check out the Aberdeen Report here to enjoy the full read.
Your Coaching Technique Isn’t Working
One-on-one coaching, for most, has evolved into just another pipeline review, neglecting the opportunity to develop the sales rep. So, save the pipeline review for the forecast call and focus on improving the performance of the sales rep. After all, the definition of a coach is to support another in the attainment of their goals. Another bad habit is disregarding the measurement of execution and success of the coaching. There are three components to successful sales coaching outcomes - technique, execution, and measurement of success. The best sales leaders coach around metrics that tell the story behind the rep’s performance. According to research, data-driven coachers achieve larger average deal sizes, shorter cycle times, higher overall team quota attainment and scale their team much faster. Learning these metrics on each rep, keeping the coaching consistent, and knowing if your coaching is working are the surest steps to effective sales training.
Stop Wanting Your Reps to Be Admins too
A customer of ours, Interactive Intelligence, mastered this one. EVP of Sales, Paul Weber, decided to ensure reps could maximize their workday productivity by keeping them focused on selling, not reporting up to their managers. He believes “being a great seller means not being slowed down by administrative tasks”.
So, to have the ultimate confidence you’ll hit your number, find a solution that is designed to empower sales reps to focus on selling, management to have visibility into the pipeline and metrics that tell you if your coaching is helping your sales team perform better. Modernize your sales process and set up your team for success!